The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday evening announced the deaths of two more soldiers fighting Hamas in the Gaza Strip, raising the death toll in the ground offensive to 89.
They were named as Master Sgt. (res.) Gal Meir Eisenkot, 25, of the 551st Brigade’s 699th Battalion, from Herzliya, and Sgt. Maj. (res.) Jonathan David Deitch, 34, of the 55th Brigade’s 6623rd Reconnaissance Battalion, from Harish.
The IDF said Eisenkot was killed in northern Gaza while Deitch was killed during a battle in the southern Strip. It also said three other troops were seriously injured in fighting and brought to hospitals for medical treatment.
Eisenkot is the son of Minister Gadi Eisenkot, a former IDF chief of staff who is now a minister in the emergency government on behalf of Benny Gantz’s National Unity party and an observer on the high-level war cabinet leading the decision-making in the Gaza campaign.
The elder Eisenkot received the news of his son’s death while observing IDF operations at the 162nd Division’s headquarters in southern Israel, alongside Gantz earlier Thursday.
Gal Eisenkot was killed after a bomb exploded in a tunnel shaft near soldiers in the Jabaliya camp in northern Gaza. He was rushed in grave condition to a hospital in Israel, where he died of his injuries.